Young (ID 49196) v. Walsh
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ENTERED: This matter is dismissed for the reasons set forth in the Court's MOSC. Signed by District Judge John W. Lungstrum on 11/17/22. Mailed to pro se party James Harold Young by regular mail. (smnd)
Case 5:22-cv-03231-JWL-JPO Document 5 Filed 11/17/22 Page 1 of 3
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
JAMES HAROLD YOUNG,
CASE NO. 22-3231-JWL-JPO
ROBERT WALSH, Cloud County
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff filed this pro se case under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff is in custody at the
Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility in Larned, Kansas. On October 7, 2022, the Court
entered a Memorandum and Order to Show Cause (Doc. 3) (“MOSC”) granting Plaintiff an
opportunity to show good cause why his Complaint should not be dismissed for the reasons set
forth in the MOSC. This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Response (Doc. 4).
Plaintiff’s allegations relate to his state criminal sentence. He claims that he was charged
with distribution within 1000 feet of a school, but the school was closed in 2011. (Doc. 1, at 2.)
He also claims that “police measurements should have also been voided,” and that he “had a
legal script that was not presented to a jury.” Id. at 2–3.
Plaintiff names the prosecuting
attorney as the sole defendant and seeks “termination of [his] sentence and compensation for
time, along with filing fees.” Id. at 5.
The Court held in the MOSC that to the extent Plaintiff challenges the validity of his
sentence in his state criminal case, his federal claim must be presented in habeas corpus. “[A]
§ 1983 action is a proper remedy for a state prisoner who is making a constitutional challenge to
the conditions of his prison life, but not to the fact or length of his custody.” Preiser v.
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Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 475, 499 (1973) (emphasis added). When the legality of a confinement is
challenged so that the remedy would be release or a speedier release, the case must be filed as a
habeas corpus proceeding rather than under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and the plaintiff must comply with
the exhaustion of state court remedies requirement. Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477, 482
(1994); see also Montez v. McKinna, 208 F.3d 862, 866 (10th Cir. 2000) (exhaustion of state
court remedies is required by prisoner seeking habeas corpus relief); see 28 U.S.C.
§ 2254(b)(1)(A) (requiring exhaustion of available state court remedies).
Likewise, before Plaintiff may proceed in a federal civil action for monetary damages
based upon an invalid conviction or sentence, he must show that his conviction or sentence has
been overturned, reversed, or otherwise called into question. Heck v. Humphrey, 512 U.S. 477
In Heck, the Supreme Court held that a § 1983 damages claim that necessarily
implicates the validity of the plaintiff’s conviction or sentence is not cognizable unless and until
the conviction or sentence is overturned, either on appeal, in a collateral proceeding, or by
executive order. Id. at 486–87. Plaintiff has not alleged that the conviction or sentence has been
The Court also found in the MOSC that Plaintiff’s claims against the county prosecutor
fail on the ground of prosecutorial immunity. Prosecutors are absolutely immune from liability
for damages in actions asserted against them for actions taken “in initiating a prosecution and in
presenting the State’s case.” Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409, 431 (1976). Plaintiff’s claims
concerning his criminal case fall squarely within the prosecutorial function.
In his response, Plaintiff continues to make arguments regarding his criminal case,
claiming that the school board was discussing auctioning off the school, so it was not open when
Case 5:22-cv-03231-JWL-JPO Document 5 Filed 11/17/22 Page 3 of 3
he was charged with distribution within 1000 feet of a school. (Doc. 4, at 1.) Plaintiff also
argues that everything adds up to malicious intent by the prosecutor. Id. at 2.
Plaintiff has failed to show good cause why this action should not be dismissed for the
reasons set forth in the MOSC. He has not alleged that his conviction or sentence has been
invalidated or that his claims against the prosecutor relate to anything other than actions taken in
initiating a prosecution and presenting the State’s case.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE COURT that this matter is dismissed for
the reasons set forth in the Court’s MOSC.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated November 17, 2022, in Kansas City, Kansas.
S/ John W. Lungstrum
JOHN W. LUNGSTRUM
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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